Woo-HOO! My first-ever book just garnered its 293rd review on Amazon! And that doesn’t even count the non-USA ones, or on other sites: Amazon only.
The last review is so recent, it’s still warm. I read it, twice. Okay, it was three times.
Face it, we humans crave recognition, an acknowledgment that somebody noticed us, our work, maybe even liked it. Selling 24,985 books is great (it really is!) but actual feedback from readers is a different level. You won’t get as many reviews as you like, no matter what. In my How To Complain book, I write that for every person who speaks up, about a hundred more feel the same way, but never comment. Humans are a lazy bunch.
Still, 293 is not sneeze-worthy! So...how do I get reviews?
I ask. No one calls me subtle. I learned decades ago, if I want something, I need to make my need clearly known. Randomly dropping broad hints is futile. At the end of each of my books, I include a paragraph, clearly titled A Shameless Plea. I respond to personal connection; I assume others do, too. I make writing a review sound so easy; why wouldn’t they?
I say how much a review means to an author, relating it to the book in hand. For a cruise book, I’ll say it means as much as a $200 tip to a cabin steward. In my children’s activity books, I’ll compare it to a bag stuffed with brilliant ideas to entertain a wild scout troop. In my cookbooks, I’ll say a review is equal to the best recipe your friend ever shared, the elegant one that impresses everyone on sight and takes fifteen minutes to prepare.
I say a review takes mere moments to compose, and can even be posted anonymously if they wish.
I have a hyperlink from there, right to the review page for my book. All they have to do is click that spot, and type something profound while the book is still fresh in their minds. Make it easy, and people will write.
293 times, if you're lucky!